Lawrence named Director of Mission at Saint Francis Medical Center


Saint Francis Healthcare System is pleased to announce Jim Lawrence, RN, MBA, has accepted the newly-established position of Director of Mission. Lawrence officially started his new role July 31, 2017.

The mission director will support Saint Francis in fulfilling its mission: to provide a ministry of healing and wellness inspired by its Catholic philosophy and values. The roots of Saint Francis Hospital were established in 1875 when three Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from Salzkotten Germany (via Carondelet, South St. Louis), began work in a rented two-story framed house accommodating 12 patients. They came to Cape Girardeau at the request of Fr. Joseph Schmidt, pastor of St. Mary Church (now St. Mary Cathedral).

As mission director, Lawrence will be responsible for community outreach to local parishes and area clergy. He will also be responsible for ensuring the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church, serve as chair of the ethics committee, and function as a resource for local parish nurses. The system’s Pastoral Care department will report to Lawrence.

Lawrence has been a big part of the Saint Francis Family for more than 25 years. He most recently served as director of Business Development and the Consumer Call Center. Before that, he was one of the organization’s first two physician liaisons. Lawrence helped launch the Wound Healing Center program and served as a clinical nurse, where he witnessed firsthand the Saint Francis mission and what it means to those who need it most.

“Saint Francis provided us with an example of being selfless in service to the poor, the lepers, and his brothers,” Lawrence said. “He found great joy is this servitude. So should we in our daily journey. It is our privilege to serve.”

“The Director of Mission supports the everyday mission that we live out in Catholic Healthcare,” Lawrence told The Mirror. “I feel that everything that I have ever done at the Healthcare System had been preparing me for the Director of Mission role. We represent the Catholic church and its love for the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged. ”

Lawrence’s Medical Center, community, and religious involvements are numerous. He has been involved with the mission integration team via liturgical celebrations with priests and pastoral staff, has been a key contributor on leadership development teams, had physician and provider interaction through continuing medical education, and served as president of the American Association of Physician Liaisons. He is currently president of the board of directors at Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. In addition, Lawrence was president of the Men’s Association at St. Vincent DePaul Parish, studied New Testament Greek for a year in Perryville, MO, and is a member of St. Mary Cathedral Parish in Cape Girardeau.

“Every day, God gives us opportunities to be present in the lives of people we meet,” Lawrence said. “They may be co-workers, patients, or visitors, but each are placed in our path by God for a purpose. I do not believe in coincidence. God uses us in everyday circumstances. We just have to be present and cooperate with his plan for us.”

Saint Francis Medical Center is a 308-bed facility serving more than 713,000 people throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Guided by its mission to provide a ministry of healing and wellness inspired by its Christian philosophy and values, the Medical Center has become a progressive, innovative regional tertiary care referral center. The major service lines of Saint Francis have received national recognition, and include the Neurosciences Institute; Orthopedic Institute; Family BirthPlace, featuring the region’s first Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Heart Hospital; Emergency and Level III Trauma Center; Cancer Institute; and Fitness Plus.

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